For those of us who don’t know much about cars, we can be pretty skeptical in an oil change check up. We ask them to change the oil and make sure nothing is going to ruin our car, but we don’t actually want to hear all the other “optional” things to fix. Changing the air filter seems to be one of these “optional” upgrades or maintenance items that they offer us when the oil change is complete. Tacking on extra money to the price tag is never fun, especially if you’re surprised by the extra cost already.
An air filter isn’t going to ruin your car, or cause a crash or explosion, so surely it can wait right? Sure! It can wait. But there are actually a lot of reasons to just change that air filter right now.
- Cleaner Air. Well, this one is obvious. Changing your air filter will keep the air circulating through your vehicle more clean and pure. This can be extra helpful as we transition through seasons - the smog and grime of winter need to be tossed, and the allergens of spring and summer can call for new filters too. If you live in a particularly polluted area, changing your air filter regularly is important.
- Prolong Engine Life. The whole purpose of your air filter is to trap dirt and other damaging particles from making it into your engine. If your air filter is old or gross, the particles can get to the engine and even cause serious long term damage. Instead, changing your filter regularly can actually help keep your engine cleaner.
- Cheap & Easy. Air filters are not expensive, nor are they difficult to replace. Once you know where the air filter is, where to buy them, and how to swap them out - you can do it yourself for around $20 or less. Check the owner’s manual or a youtube video to learn how.
- Improved Fuel Efficiency. It seems strange that something as small as an air filter can improve your fuel efficiency, but it can! It allows the cleanest air to be combusted in the engine, so every drop of gasoline is used.
- Dirty can look Clean. Often people pull out their air filter and it looks clean, but the microscopic particles of dust and grime are there. Change the filter even if it looks clean, because you can’t always see how much gunk you’ve trapped. Getting in a regular routine helps you stay on top of it.